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Dining Together


Published ca. 1951


Thanksgiving dining etiquette for young children.


Run time 10:15
Producer Children's Productions
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

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Reviews

Reviewer: I_h8_screen_names - - August 10, 2012
Subject: Thanks!
I don't know who uploaded this, but I like these silly little films. They were shown all the time when I was in school and It is a walk down memory lane for me.
The acting and script is corny, but you have to consider the era it came from. No one really lived like this, but everyone pretended to.
Thaks again for a nice little peek into the past.
Reviewer: JayKay49 - - December 23, 2011
Subject: Very Odd Film - Even For 1950
By the 1950's, children were not typically expected to be so staid except in certain situations (in churches and funeral homes; in the homes of uptight relatives or friends, often childless people). This movie is so bizarre. And how on earth do you make a film about table manners for kids without mentioning the most important thing: keep your damned fingers out of your nose!

But one thing I can relate to is the fact that there was certainly no shortage of reindeer sweaters for boys (you'll also see the Johnson boy wearing one in that film about Thanksgiving sans turykey, also made in 1951). I had a reindeer sweater with Rudolf sporting a big red nose hugely depicted on the front (that rag was handed down to me - with good intentions I'm sure) but the derned kids nearly laughed me right out of the kindergarten. It was one of the most mortifying experiences of my life.

This film is so odd it gets very high marks for entertainment. But I wonder if "Children's Films" company was around for very long.

Something about the house and the people...Tonier part of Queens?
Reviewer: LatinGal - - March 22, 2008
Subject: What was the purpose?
I think some reviewers may have missed the point. If you pay attention to the pauses, the questions the narrator asks make sense. Very likely, this film was used as a sort of final exam or test for a home economics course on manners. Probably the students were supposed to listen and indicate a correct answer on an answer sheet, or later write something about the faux pas they saw, or discuss them. That would account for the narrator not giving any answers to the questions: the audience had probably already been taught the 'correct' thing to do in class, and this was a test to see what they had learned.
Reviewer: Verified1 - - November 22, 2007
Subject: Good Manners
This was a cute nostalgic moment, if a little corny. Interesting that the narrator was quick to mention that the Pilgrims ate with "friendly" Indians.

Good manners never go out out of fashion. It would be much nicer to eat with these folks at Thanksgiving, even as stiff as they appear, instead of listening to yelling, ill-mannered children and noisy football games in the background. Thank goodness music such as that in this film DID go out of fashion, however.
Reviewer: ERD - - July 18, 2006
Subject: Once upon A Time
Behavioral patterns changes with passing generations. Many people now will find the table manners of 1951 a little too stuffy and formal.(How many men help a woman into her seat now)At the time this film was made, it was a good instructional film for juveniles. The narrator over enunciates and talks at a slow tempo because he is addressing little children. (That was the style then)I feel the actors did well, especially the children. This film, like many of the Prelinger films, should be watch with historical interest and perspective.
Reviewer: FromAztlan - - July 16, 2006
Subject: American blue collar gothic and constraints
Made with the best intentions and a straight face, this film is a world that has gone by, and serves as a relic of 1950s upward climbing.
You'd think that people would already know good manners, but this film might have been intended for the lower strata of our 1950s society.
The music makes it different. It has a yearning-like quality about it. Technically bad but suited to the stifling environment of this family's dinner table that could extend to public life as well.
The underlying messages are these: This is how an AMERICAN family behaves. You will conform and then be happy. "Mother knows how to cook a turkey. Father knows how to carve it!"
All in all, a creepy look into 50s rigidity and blandness.
"There is happiness in the air!"
And creepiness is cooking in the oven.
Reviewer: J. DeKay - - November 24, 2005
Subject: WE ARE GLAD TO EAT NEATLY!
On the surface it appears that it's all about being stiff and uncomfortable at this Thanksgiving celebration. Perhaps the biggest revelation here is the instructive use of how to use a spoon. After all, eating soup 'easily without noise' is the cornerstone of good manners. "Always take small bites so we never have to talk with our mouth full", is also good advice that the narrator imparts to us. Obviously the small turkey shown in this film was not shot full of growth hormone and antibiotics. This instructional film left me feeling depressed and unfit for dinning in public.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - May 16, 2005
Subject: We All Like Eating to Cheesy Piano Music!
Extremely stiff and cheaply made manners film from the 40s that teaches kids proper table manners for Thanksgiving. They couldnÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt afford synchronized sound, so all you hear is cheesy piano music and slow stiff narration, using the collective ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂweÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ a lot, such as ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂWe like having good table manners.ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ Fortunately, this kind of obvious mind-control strategy is a complete washout with kidsÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂotherwise, weÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂd all resemble the living dead in such films as A Date with Your Family. Brain-deadening.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Cherokee Jack - - November 23, 2004
Subject: Wonder what their candle budget was?
A funny view of Thanksgiving featuring the Stepford Children. Take note of the candles on the table. They start out as full-sized tapered candles and burn down to almost nothing by the end. How long does it take these people to eat?!?! Watch this one with a friend or two; it will make you happy, and it's good to be happy.
Reviewer: dc8ray - - November 20, 2004
Subject: Good manners, the key to the good life
Another one of those films designed to teach kids to tow the line. But that may not be all bad, but this film is not the way to do it. I can imagine being in the second grade and being forced to watch the film. It's better than doing school work, but not by much. It's still amazing to me how many of these kind of films were made, and I assume, there was some real money exchanged for it's use.
Reviewer: Visaman - - November 16, 2004
Subject: It's nice to be lobotomized
This film has Edward D. Wood Jr. stamped all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if Bella Lugosi was the narrator, and the piano player was from Reefer Madness. Pull the strings indeed.
Reviewer: Steve Nordby - - January 28, 2004
Subject:
I would not want that announcer anywhere near any children. Oh, I am sure he is in the Mr. Roger's style trying to relate to the kids, but to say you will be happy if you know manners is to confuse obediance with happiness. Very manipulative.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - April 18, 2003
Subject: I'll probably never get these 10 minutes back.
Think if you will, if you've watched everything on this site, a combination of 'Date With Your Family' and 'A Visit To Santa', and mix in 'A Day Of Giving' and you'll get a good clue of how BAD this ATROCIOUS film is. Absurdly paced and acted, with the most god awful sing-song narration ever found anywhere, it's sure to cause indigestion watching this 'family' prepare for Thanksgiving. With a background of gawdawful piano music, the narrator informs us of how 'fun' good table manners are. This film gives me the total creeps. See it for your self, this is a MUST SEE on the site.
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